Today: Jeff Buckley, 12 Bar, 1994
In this month’s [b]UNCUT[/b], our writers, friends and favourite musicians reminisce about their favourite gigs.
The October issue, onsale now, features our best 50 – including [b]Jimi[/b], [b]U2[/b], [b]The Band[/b] and [b]Oasis[/b] – with rare photos from the shows too.
Now here’s some more – we’ll publish one everyday this month – including online [b]exclusives[/b] on gigs by Manic Street Preachers,[b]The Stone Roses[/b], [b]Pixies[/b], [b]Beach Boys[/b], and [b]Stereophonics’ Kelly Jones[/b] and [b]Babyshambles’ Adam Ficek[/b]’s favourite live memories too.
[b]21 | JEFF BUCKLEY[/b]
Bunjie’s/12 Bar, London, March 18, 1994
In the 1960s, Bunjie’s coffee bar, just off London’s Charing Cross Rd, was a hang-out for [b]Dylan[/b] and [b]Paul Simon[/b]. By the mid ’90s, the subterranean nook was an anachronism, but on March 18, 1994, it hosted one last legendary show. Enthralled by an advance copy of Jeff Buckley’s debut EP, “[b]Live At Sin-E[/b]”, I’d travelled to New York the previous month to catch one of his solo shows, and been stunned by what I saw. When he fetched up on this side of the Atlantic in mid-March, I suppose I stalked the poor bloke.
Over a week, I saw how news of his genius spread like a rash through the London music business. On March 15, Buckley played a short support set to a few amazed insiders at the Borderline. Two days later, aesthetes were virtually scrapping to get into a claustrophobic show Upstairs At The Garage where, legend has it, [b]John McEnroe[/b] carried Buckley’s amp. The next night found Buckley in Bunjie’s cellar, distributing white roses to the lucky few of us who’d managed to scam our way in. Bunjie’s was too hardcore to bother with mics, and the somersaulting range of Buckley’s voice was more apparent than ever.
He played for an hour or so, and wanted to play longer, but the venue was closing. Then someone came in and said he could carry on at the 12-Bar, another muso club just down the road. Buckley marched out of the club carrying his guitar, and we all followed him with our roses. Even at the time, it felt like we were living out a romantic fantasy.
Here’s Buckley, the beautiful and obsessive troubadour, leading his adoring new brethren to a spontaneous all-night jam session. Stuff like this never really takes place.It did happen, though: I checked on the internet. At the 12-Bar, Buckley tried to play every song he’d ever heard: [b]The Smiths; Led Zeppelin[/b]; some heartfelt Liz Frazer and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan impressions. After an hour or so, someone passed a joint up to him on the minuscule stage, and everything was more fragmented from.
plus [b]WERE YOU THERE?[/b]
Not even [b]UNCUT[/b]s war-weary gig-hounds have been to every great show in history – but you lot probably have.
Email Allan_Jones@ipcmedia.com, or [b]share your memories[/b] in the comments box below, of the ones we might have missed, and we’ll publish the best in a future issue!